Michigan voters remain equally divided when asked whether President Trump engaged in collusion with the Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign or if he has since participated in attempts to obstruct the ongoing Justice Department investigation of Russia’s meddling in the election process, according to a new poll.
The statewide survey by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA found that belief in Trump campaign collusion is split, 43 percent yes, 42 percent no – a statistical tie. As for Trump obstruction of justice, the divide stands at 46 percent yes, 42 percent not – which is still within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
However, given the hyper-partisan splits among self-identified Democrats and Republicans on nearly all things related to Trump, the divide among independent voters could be significant. Independents said Trump colluded with the Russians by a 43-31 percent margin. On the question of obstructing justice, the independents see misconduct by Trump, 44-35 percent.
Yet, the poll’s most revealing information show that many Michigan voters know little or nothing about Robert Mueller, the central figure in the Trump-Russia investigation as the special counsel assigned by the Justice Department.
First, the statewide survey reveals that 27 percent of the state’s voters do not recognize Mueller’s name. Second, another 28 percent are undecided or have no opinion about Mueller’s work as the special prosecutor on the case.
So, 55 percent of poll respondents have a murky view, at best, of the former FBI director (2011-2013) though his name has been mentioned nonstop in countless news stories for a year – particularly regarding Trump’s constant complaints about how Mueller has conducted the investigation.
It’s a good thing EPIC-MRA poll did not ask whether Mueller should be fired by Trump, because the results would have been irrelevant to the point of embarrassment.
For what it’s worth, the poll found Mueller with a 27 percent approval rating, compared to 18 percent disapproval.
Some national polls show a solid majority believe that Trump engaged in collusion or obstructing justice, or both. As a result, the EPIC-MRA findings could be good news for the GOP in one of the nation’s key battleground states. The White House and many members of Congress in the Republican majority have spent many months trying to downplay or disparage the Mueller investigation.
It appears that in Michigan, in one prominent piece of Middle America, they don’t even have to try.